Is nothing sacred?

First Joan Jett, now this?

According to Dlisted, Britney Spears is looking to cover Blondie’s “Atomic” on her next studio album. Surely I’m not the only one who sees what this is: A desperate grasp to regain relevancy and her stardom after trashing her image so terribly for the last few years. Britney, luv… it’s over. Call it a night and go out quietly. Please? Stay far away from my new wave / punk legends.. thank you.

Even if she could regain popularity it would be shortlived and not very profitable. Digital music sales have made her a dinosaur, she’d have to make around 13 awesome hot selling tracks just to recoup what they will spend on the production / marketing for her these days. In the digital download world the one track wonders are worthless.

This is something I discussed back in 2004 in my interview with Pat Thetic of Anti-Flag and he called it back then:

“And I understand that, but that means you have to write good music. You know Britney Spears, God bless her, she’ll be done. Because people will be like ‘alright downloaded the one song and I don’t care about the other 9 tracks of filler. You know, that’s our responsibility as musicians. If we can’ create songs that people want to hear, then fuck us, we’re not worth being around anyway.”

Just ask Justin Timberlake, “FutureSex/LoveSounds” has topped charts and been nominated for all sorts of awards but hasn’t made a dent in the sales numbers of 2002’s “Justified.” Or Christina Aguilera who’s last album barely made a whimper in the market compared to what she used to do. The market has changed and there isn’t room for people like Britney anymore, even if she could adapt and get her shit back together it would be too late.

I know we’ve ended at least one article on this site before with this quote but it keeps getting more and more relevant as time goes on:

“Dinosaurs will die and I do believe no one will cry. I’m just glad I’m gonna be, there to watch it fall.” – NoFX

Times have changed, and it’s going to take more than an overproduced cover single of an 80’s pop tune to bring the old days back, and frankly… a lot of us are glad to see them gone.

New Forums are up!

Yeah my lazy ass did something.

We’re now running phpBB 3 beta. The old forums will remain on our old server for the time being but are now closed. The board is not skinned and like I said it’s beta software so please try to be forgiving, I will be upgrading them along the way as more work is done by the phpbb team.

Thanks, see ya on the boards!


What's happening with MediaRebellion?

Good question.

The truth is… we’re not sure.

If you’ve never been here before… welcome, sorry there’s not much going on. If you are / were a regular… thanks for your patience.

About 9 months ago the site officially went on hiatus. During this time our articles began to corrode with comment spam and our hosting seemingly went up and down on a whim: locking the regulars who visited this site out from enjoying the forums or much of the existing content.

About a month ago I got fed up with it and switched hosts. I moved the content over from one server to the other and migrated our content management system from MovableType to WordPress. In the process I de-spammed our whole archive while maintaining our user comments. Hopefully this will be the last time MR will switch CMS systems and the last time we will break our link structure.

Shortly after that… our aging forums were hacked and taken down by a hacking group. I plan to move the forums once again to a new system. I’m evaluating a few, as I hope this to be the last switch we make, and I hope to switch to an open source alternative, as I did with WordPress. While it might shortchange us temporarily on features, it will future proof us from lock ins and costly upgrades.

It’s never been a secret to anyone visiting or participating in this site but I’ve been running this site out of my pocket at a loss for years. I have never once regretted it, but the fact of the matter is, once I got involved seriously in the working world, it sank low on my piorities. It’s also never been a secret that I’ve wanted to find a way for the site to be self sustainable, both financially and functionally. Switching to WordPress and a new forum environment will allow us to look into these possibilities, due to their Free Open Source natures, which allow us to customize and if need be… commercialize.

I still want to keep the heart and soul of this site the same, since it’s inception there has always been an anti-corporate vibe from this site and it’s members. It is my hope that we can change / grow without losing that.

I am prepared to make a promise to prove this:
Regardless of what happens, so long as I am running things. MediaRebellion will always release it’s content for free, and under some sort of Creative Commons license. We will never force a membership fee on anyone.

So I’m beating around the bush still. What is actually happening?

I don’t know.

For one, we’ve volunteered message board hosting to New Wave / Punk band The Epoxies, please feel free to check them out on their official site or pop into the message board. This should have no affect on the rest of the site however. Participation is highly encouraged though. The Epoxies rock and I wouldn’t have volunteered such a thing if they weren’t genuiniely cool people. They are, in my opinion one of the most interesting musical acts around these days and I highly recommend checking out their latest release: Stop The Future on Fat Wreck Chords. I’m saying that because I believe in it and them, and I promise you I’m not getting a thing out of it.

But for the main site: We / I have had a few ideas, ranging from a web comic to a clone to a podcast hosting site. There are a lot of ideas being kicked around right now and the fact is I’m not sure. The answer could be a mix / variety of those ideas. One thing is for sure… we’re dropping the BaloolaPalooza name for good and moving entirely to MediaRebellion. I’ve registered us a MySpace account which ultimately we will use to promote ourselves, right now it’s barren but feel free to add it to your friends list, it will be very active in the near future.

This is the real reason I’m posting this… I’d like to open a discussion. What do you think MR should become? What should we do? What shouldn’t we? What should be kept from the previous incarnations? What should bite the dust?

What I’d also like to know is, what are some sites you visit on a daily basis, or that inspire you. These days I spend a lot of time on Digg and Flickr and these sites inspire the heck out of me to do something interesting with MR and to finally live up to the potential it’s had.

Please drop us a reply here in the comments or on the forums. Thanks!

Happy Holidays

On behalf of myself, J and the rest of your local Staff, we want to wish you a wonderful and safe holiday season.



Hey as you’ve probably noticed we’ve hit a lull here for a while.

I’ve got a ton going on right now that are keeping me away from the organizational things that the site requires to keep running smoothly. There have been a lot of things in the works for the site that are still coming but at the moment need to be put on hold till they are ready.

I love this site, I love the people involved and the ideas and actions that come from it. We will be relaunching with a ton of new ideas, focuses and features and I promise when it happens we’ll be stronger than ever. I can’t say exactly when for sure at this very moment but I promise it will happen, and it’ll be awesome. But I’m not going to do it until it’s 110% ready. So it might seem like there is little going on here but I assure you behind the scenes it’s far from true.

However in for immediate future I have more important things to focus on. But I will be back.

Stay in touch people, the forums are still open and Bear is posting up a storm lately in his blog. I’ll still be around. If you need to contact me please hit me up on AIM, or via email.



The Infamous Mentos Cat

Freshman year of college a group of friends and I found ourselves inspired. We we students at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY. Probably one of the most liberal of art schools in the United States, (and that’s saying something). Being college students and art geeks; we had both too much time on our hands and spare video equipment laying around. Not to mention over-active imagination and a deranged sense of humor.

Pratt is famous for a lot of things, one of them is the fully operational steam engine on campus. One of the oldest in the country, and one of very few still functioning. The engine room is located pretty much in the dead center of the campus and is – as any Pratt student or alumni will tell you – a haven for the massive stray cat infestation. Apparently the warmth from the engine room attracts them from the cold New York air. While all the cats were harmless, not everyone was a fan, as you soon will see.

What follows is a video dreamed up, shot, edited and rendered all in a one hour break between classes. It is something that caused a controversy for about a week and spread around campus like wildfire. For that week we were both loved and hated by much of the school, we were rockstars. It’s something, as sick and juvenile as it is that I’m still proud of to this day. Enjoy. (Quicktime 6 or higher is required, which you can find here.)

Watch The Video

(© Jeff Dodson, Max Cameron-Bell, Mike Safianoff, John Morrison and Marcos Landeros. Mentos is a registered trademark of Van Melle USA Inc. the individuals involved in this video and are in no way affiliated with Van Melle USA Inc. This video is a parody, as allowed by US law. Please don’t sue.)


11/02/04 – Judgement Day

Go Vote!

Go vote for peace, vote for our safety, vote for prosperity, vote for our economy, vote for the people outside our communities, vote for our children, vote for our respect, vote for our troops, vote for our future, vote for our jobs, vote for our loved ones, vote for our firemen, vote for our education, vote for our environment, vote for those lost but not forgotten, vote to save democracy, vote to save the bill of rights, vote for sanity, vote for honesty.

Vote to correct a miserable failure.

Please, for yourself, for me, just go vote.

Vote to take back our nation.


MR interviews Pat Thetic of Anti-Flag at Warped Tour 2004

At this year’s Warped Tour on August 7th I got the opportunity to sit down and speak with Pat Thetic, the drummer from the politically charged Pittsburgh punk band Anti-Flag. Pat was generally an easygoing guy with strong opinions who was open for discussion and knowledgeable on pretty much anything we threw at him. We asked his thoughts mostly about Warped Tour (which was celebrating it’s tenth anniversary this summer), the state of the music industry and the upcoming election.

Pat Thetic of Anti-FlagAs you’ve probably heard, early this year Lollapalooza announced the cancellation of it’s tour due mostly to low ticket sales, what do you think sets Warped Tour apart?

I don’t really know. I would think that the ticket price for warped tour they’ve always tried to keep it as low as possible. I don’t know if thats the same for Lollapalooza. And I think the fact you get so many bands that kids still come out to Warped Tour. Lollapalooza bands play for an hour or whatever, at Warped Tour you get about 5 bands in an hour that you can go see. So I think for the money it’s a much better value. I don’t know if kids really think that, but I think there is just so much going on… it’s like an A.D.D.fest you can’t pay attention to one. For young people thats a better thing that seems to, in just my vision of it, (Lollapalooza) seems to be slower than Warped Tour.

What do you guys in bands like about warped tour? Why’d you decide to play this year?

It’s a traveling misfits show of outcasts and fuck ups and that sort of appeals to us. The fact is that there just is a whole bunch of people who don’t know what else to do with themselves. And the family that Warped Tour has sorta created is sorta a unique one. We like that there is a place for screwed up people to hang out for the summer.

Let’s talk about The Terror State, you guys worked with Tom Morello on this album..

We did

How did you meet up with him?

We did a tour with Rage Against The Machine in ’98-99, somewhere in there, it was The Battle of Los Angeles tour; their last tour. They called us up and said ‘Do you wanna do these shows with us’ and it was amazing and scary, ‘cuz it was like huge rooms, it was like stadiums err… arenas. So we got to know him there and when we were getting ready to record this record we were like ‘who would we like to work with?’ and the guy who has been most successful and believes the similar ideas as us and who we really like is Tom, ‘lets ask Tom to be involved’. So we sat down with him while we were on tour in LA and said ‘do you want to be apart of this?’ He said ‘yeah, I’d love to’ so it worked out, it was great.

How was it working with him?

He’s great, he’s got great ideas, he’s got influenced people and yeah he’s just an amazing person. And he’s just a cool dude other than that.

It seems like on this album you mixed more sampling into it? Did that have anything to do with Tom’s influence?

Not so much, more Tom’s influence was in the artwork and the original writing of the songs. In the end production he didn’t really have… He was like ‘yeah that sounds good’ or ‘no that doesn’t sound good’ but he didn’t come to us and say ‘you should put samples in or something.’ That was all stuff that we came up with on our own.

Alright, what do you guys think about new production methods? ProTools and Such?

Love it

Love it?

Love it, can’t get enough of it. As a drummer who grew up.. There are two types of people, there’s drummers and then there’s people who play drums. I’m more of a person who plays drums than a drummer. And ProTools is able to take poor performances and make them good. But what we try and do is get ideas out, and sometimes the performance gets in the way of somebody hearing the ideas. And the beautiful thing about ProTools is that you can clean the performance so people can hear the ideas and not hear that you’re out of key, or off time, or whatever.

You don’t think it waters down things at all? Like some bands are manufactured almost, like a Britney Spears sorta thing?

Well yeah. But she’s going to have a great sounding record no matter wether ProTools is there or not, they are gonna cut tape or whatever. For those of us, who… It’s also, we can create a better record for a lot less money which in punk rock world is very important. Actually, we have a ProTools rig at home, that cost very little money and we can do editing and stuff on our own just in our own office. So yeah, it’s really sort of like the germ warfare of music it has leveled the playing field of music, so that everyone has access to really good sound if they want to. I don’t know if that analogy translated but in my mind it makes sense.

You guys are known for your politics. How do you think the things that have gone on in the last year with things like Punk Voter and how do you think it’s going to play out in this election. Do you think there will be a significant change in things?

I think it will. You know the poll numbers are like well: Kerry is down by three points or two points and Bush is up by two points or three points. But what those polls are taking into account is the voters who have voted in the last presidential election. I think that through MoveOn, I think through Punk Voter and those types of things, I think there are going to be a lot of voters who have never voted before who will actively vote and I think that those people will have a great impact on the election. I’m hoping.

I’ve been saying that for a long time and I finally heard Michael Moore say it on Larry King Live and I was glad someone else is thinking it. I read an article recently how Howard Stern is going to affect voters because he’s really under fire from the FCC and they were saying that most of the people that were into him are already from liberal areas where the state was already to go to the democrats. Do you think that may be true…

That may… The thing about Howard Stern is he’s got access to millions of people. And Howard Stern saying one thing can affect a lot of people. I know that Pittsburgh, which is where we’re from, has traditionally been a Democratic stronghold but in the last election it was close and we have Howard Stern on the radio in Pittsburgh so I think that he will have an impact with, again, people who are first time voters that never felt that their voice needed to be heard.

But do you really think that things like Warped Tour and Punk Voter are really going to reach people in conservative areas? Like Texas for example.

We go to.. We’ve plays alot of shows in Texas, and we’re doing a Punk Voter swing state tour. And so we are going to focus a lot of attention in the areas where people are traditionally more conservative than liberal.

In The Terror State you have an pamphlet that talks about taking back the Democratic Party. What made you guys really fall along part lines? Where as in the past it’s been..

Yeah, it’s sorta a change for us and it sorta leaves a bad taste in our mouth because we’re not big Democratic party fans. That pamphlet is not actually a pro-Democrat pamphlet that was a pro-leftist pamphlet, saying get these people in the Democratic Party and move them further to the left and present an opposition to the Republican Party not just Republican-lite. In having said that, four more years of Bush is too painfull for us to accept so we are helping to get rid of Bush, not really helping to elect Kerry.

Ideally who out of the Democratic Primaries would you have preferred?

(Dennis) Kucinich is an amazing dude. Kucinich was a great guy nobody gave him any attention, nobody gave him any press and it’s difficult to get the press unless you’re winning. It was interesting because Kucinich was running all the way until the convention but nobody paid any attention to him because Kerry had already won the election.

How do you feel about Nader’s involvement in this election?

Nader. People are always trying to villianize Nader and Nader is an American hero. Nader has done more for the American people than George Bush ever has. And I don’t think Nader is the enemy, and the Democratic Party is making him out to be the enemy and the Republicans are making him out to be the enemy. I think that he’s a hero and he needs to be received that way. And it’s just tragic that everyone has made him out to be the enemy.

Do you think it’s possible that Kerry could be elected and Nader could still get 5% in this election of do you think that it’s going to be closer?

I hope so. I hope that Kerry can get elected and that Nader can get 50% of the vote. If people get to hear what Nader has to say, they are gonna… as always, the American people are intelligent people, caring people and if they hear or have access to information they make the right decisions. And thats why the Democrats and the Republicans didn’t want Nader in the debates. My goal is for Nader, if not Nader than someone with similar views as Nader having a voice and being able to get those ideas out.

Let’s jump back to a bit of the industry stuff and then I’ll let you go.


How do you guys, as a band, and you as a person feel about digital music? I don’t necessarily mean file sharing, I mean things like iTunes and stuff. I noticed that Fat and A-F Records’ content aren’t for sale there, is there a reason for this?

We are trying to be. (Editor’s note, since this interview was conducted much of A-F’s music has been added to the iTunes library) And I am interested in it, as a record company, and as a musician I want people to have access to our music. If people choose to do it digitally, I don’t care. Ultimately I want people to also have access to the information that we put in there, thats why we make records. The amazing thing about the internet age that we are in right now is that we can put out a record and then have a website that has, you know, pages and pages of information that we are passionate about. And thats an amazing thing. We don’t necessarily have to put the record out, we can just have the record come out digitally and the information be on the website. Then we’re saving resources, we’re saving trucks that have to ship around that’s an amazing world for me.”

Some bands, like Linkin Park for example have complained that it could kill the album format. That people wouldn’t listen to the whole piece and that’s what their ‘creative vision’ is.

And I understand that, but that means you have to write good music. You know Britney Spears, God bless her, she’ll be done. Because people will be like ‘alright downloaded the one song and I don’t care about the other 9 tracks of filler.’ You know, that’s our responsibility as musicians. If we can’t create songs that people want to hear, then fuck us, we’re not worth being around anyway.

That would have put someone like Lou Bega out of business.

Who’s Lou Bega? I don’t know who he is.

Mambo #5

Oh yeah. Yeah, exactly ya know, that’ll hurt the music industry. (laughs) I don’t give a fuck about the music industry. Ya know, if the people who like what we do are the kids who buy A-F records stuff, if they want to buy it in a different format and we can… or not buy it, but get it, in a different format and we can supply it to them then that’s fine with me.

Do you think that this will lead to a break up of the major music industry?

I hope so, sure. They are consolidating and getting more and more crap. Because they are only worried about record sales and they are like ‘oh I can sell more of Jessica Simpson or whatever the fuck she is, or uh whats her.. the new one, the little one’s name..


Ashlee Simpson! Yeah so ‘we’re going to look for more people like Ashley Simpson’ Fuck that, that’s why we have independent music. Because we have people who care about music and ideas and not just about wether you can sell records or not. And I think the digital world has that ability a lot more, it levels the playing field, again.

So do you think, not necessarily for you guys, but for a different kind of band that is trying to make it big and spread there ideas. You guys are kinda ‘niche,’ you’ve expanded out of it, but do you think that it’s important to have the major labels there for bands to promote themselves, like a band like Less Than Jake.

No (laughs) I would love to not have the majors. I would love to not have radio that you have to spend two hundred thousand dollars, to get a song on the radio. I don’t wanna live in a world like that. I would much rather live in a world where ya know, if a song’s good it gets on the radio. We’re not in that world, if a songs ‘okay’ and it’s got $200,000 behind it kids have access to it.

But like a band like Rage, they kinda got their message by being on Sony.


And they probably wouldn’t have gotten as much of a following if they weren’t.

That’s correct.

Do you think that’s important?

No, I think good music, if everybody has an internet connection in their house, which at this point, it’s not true, but in the future, if everybody has access to an internet connection and can access to good music, people will find good music and good music will find people. And you don’t need some creepy dude in New York or L.A. to tell you wether it’s good or not and that’s an amazing world for me. I’m excited about that world.


Rebuttal to Enjoy the Silence 3

In his article “Michael Moore: Patriot or Treasoness”, staff writer Matt Van Dam makes some interesting points regarding Michael Moore and his actions as a writer, filmmaker and self proclaimed patriot. Given the release of his new film “Fahrenheit 9/11” this is a hot topic sparking some heated debate and I think it is deserving of BP’s first follow up article. It is suggested that you read Matt’s piece before reading this one because it is essentially a rebuttal, though I still feel it can stand on it’s own, so it is not required.

Not to offend anyone from the start with this article but the definitions Van Dam cites for a Patriot and a “Treasoness” are not only outdated, but also based on a monarchial system. These definitions are still based on when England’s government previously believed itself to be divinely appointed and therefore without fail. Keep that in mind, the definitions don’t really hold true in the US or in this day in age at all.

Now I feel I can safely say that anyone interested enough in politics can tell you that Moore does have his own slant to things. It is undeniable; while he might not be a liar he is masterfully manipulative of the facts and often leaves out details and tweaks things to fit his views. Despite that, I for one still view him as a patriot, I truly believe in most of Moore’s causes.

Most educated Americans, liberal or conservative, will admit our government has it faults and could always use improvement. Unfortunately though there will always be a lot of people that just don’t see it that way. Some have a bizarre denial that we can do no wrong; others have no idea of what’s going on, because previously they’ve simply been apathetic to such a thing. Moore’s target audience for Bowling For Columbine is these people. He tries to sort of “shock” people into realization of these disturbing situations. Regardless of my appreciation for Moore I’ll be the first to admit parts of it are very deceptive in their methods, but mean well, shock is a commonly used practice and a powerful one if used well. Matt’s claim that it gave him a very bad impression of the United States, while interesting and still relevant is mostly because he’s not the kind of person intended for the viewing of the film, he is not a disillusioned member of American society, therefore not the person Moore is trying to change the perspective of.

I enjoy Moore and I admire him greatly for his ability to pull things together beautifully, stand up for what he believes in and create such a convincing piece; written or visual. I honestly think his heart is in the right place but I won’t deny he does himself a disservice with his small twists and skewed facts in some regards. However, one could argue that his slant to things is really no better than the slant the United States government puts on things themselves, and I don’t think Moore is any better or worse for it in that respect.

That being said, there is one thing that makes me like, admire and trust Moore much more than anyone in our government: he’s really not doing this for himself. Sure he makes a hefty profit, but he gives the money back to his community, back to charities and into ongoing projects. He is consistently raising his target on more and more people he feels are hurting society, hurting the people of this nation and doing our forefathers a disservice. I’m not saying he’s not making a sweet profit doing this, because he does, and he’s the first person to admit it, but if all he was about was making money he wouldn’t devote so much time himself into things, running his website with daily updates and stressing himself with project after project, often admitting his faults and taking on more causes. You cannot say Moore is hardly resting on his laurels and just sitting back to collect a check. Moore is someone who works for his money, and at the same time he is doing something he loves and doing it for other people.

Now, I’m not saying Moore can do no wrong, because I feel he has a lot of faults both in his person and in his work, but that’s due to the fact that he is merely human like us all and we cannot hold him to any higher standard than we’d hold ourselves.

Let me get back on point. Matt makes the argument that under the definition of patriot that Moore is no patriot. According to a Patriot is defined as: “One who loves, supports, and defends one’s country.” Matt claims that because Moore makes the United States look bad and points out it’s faults he is doing it a disservice and definitely not supporting or defending it. I disagree entirely; I feel Moore by pointing out the faults of our nation is helping strengthen it. His criticisms of its actions are in defense of it, of the true values of this nation’s foundation. To assume otherwise is to try and say our government is without fault and should not be questioned. Such a belief is pompous, ignorant and flat out wrong. As I so much love to point out our great (Republican) President Theodore Roosevelt even stated:

“To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.”

Society can only learn from its mistakes, history shows this clearly, so criticism should be welcomed and embraced. When you start trying to squash dissenting opinions you start to encroach on people’s liberties, and therefore lose sight of the original goals of this nation, the values it was built on and committing treason yourself, just because it is people in the government doing so (coughJohnAshcroftcough) doesn’t mean that it should be accepted as correct.

I know I’m going to be stretching here but much as the Declaration of Independence criticized the king of England for the good of the American people, Michael Moore’s attacks on the President, wrong or right, is done out of love for this nation, for the people, because he wants to see it improve. Moore, like you and I don’t want to see the US fall like many other systems before it. He is defending the United States in a way many don’t think to and therefore at least in my mind, a patriot.


“Out of the Blue and Into the Black”

There are often events in the course of history that define a generation. What happened on April 8, 1994 is one of those events. Despite what people will tell you it’s not April 5th, 6th or 7th that really had an impact. It was on April 8th that an electrician in a small town outside of Seattle, Washington called a radio station to announce he had discovered the body of Kurt Cobain in a room over the garage in a house owned by the deceased. But the house had been put up for sale. The details of Kurt’s death can be debated to the point of exhaustion; although it was ruled a suicide there is significant reason for some to believe there was foul play involved. The world had seen an alleged suicide, but more importantly a tragic ending to the life of an amazing person with a tortured soul. But it is not that controversy that I want to discuss or remember today.

Today, April 8, 2004, we mourn the 10th anniversary of Kurt’s passing, something that seems impossible to many, but is undoubtedly true. Love him or hate him, Kurt was the voice of a generation and he made an impact on society greater than many before him or since his death. The phenomenon that surrounded him was exactly what John Lennon meant when he claimed the Beatles were “bigger than Jesus.” There is no sacrilege in this comment; it’s merely a representation of popularity and of icon status. Kurt, to many, is beyond this, he has been placed on a pedestal and viewed as a deity of all things good and right about rock and roll. Ironically, this is not what the man would have wanted at all, but his death sealed that fate, just like Marilyn Monroe and James Dean before him. Kurt died young, in his prime and will forever be remembered as flawless, never hitting a decline like so many other artists.

One has to wonder if the achievement of flawlessness through early death was taken into consideration while whatever act was committed; be it suicide, murder or whatever. Though that thought alone stands against much of what Kurt believed and stood for. He was a humble man who simply enjoyed writing and playing music, it was well known that he hated his celebrity status and the worship that followed him. It bothered him so much that Kurt actually felt guilty for it, expressing often that he was not what everyone thought he was and that he really didn’t want to be a rock star. Yet it was inevitable, Nirvana was one of the biggest things to happen to music and western society since “The Twist”. Their impact on culture today is immeasurable and there is no telling how many people have been inspired by it or will be for days to come. The realization of this for Kurt was too much to handle at times and he would indulge in heroine and alcohol to relieve this suffering; as well as the persistent stomach pains that has followed him throughout life that were no doubt stressed and unaided by the pressures of life in the limelight.

Those who were a fan of Kurt’s work remember his death like our parents remember President Kennedy’s death and Martin Luther King’s death. Many of us can recite exactly what we were doing, where we were, and what we did following— it had that much of an impact on people. It is scary to think that there are two things in my life that have had and enormous impact on me: Kurt’s death and the events of September 11th. I am not by any means comparing the two, but I think it is very significant that those both stand out in my mind as evoking a similar series of emotions.

Why do we do this? What compels human beings to glorify movie stars and musicians to such an intense level so that their deaths have as much impact on our lives as the loss of thousands or the loss of a grandparent? Surely this must be yet another unhealthy side effect of our increasingly media driven society, but it’s one we’ve come to deal with, even adapt to and openly embrace. If it’s not Kurt, it’s Princess Diana or Jerry Garcia or so on. This just doesn’t seem right, but we justify it. We justify it based on how those people make us feel. Kurt’s wounded voice was something so many of us could instantly relate to, he spoke in riddles that somehow made sense of it all and tapped into many emotions some of us weren’t even aware we had. Kurt meant a lot of different things to a lot different people. For some he just created music. For others he created more than this, he gave them a voice, he gave them purpose and something to believe in.

While it is natural for us to do so, it is not my belief that April 8th should be remembered as sad day at all. I believe it should be a day on which we celebrate the impact of one man who really made a difference in a lot of people’s lives. While he was only with us briefly we should appreciate what he did during this short time for we were lucky to have it at all, a man who never wanted to make a difference at all, who inadvertently made the world a better place if only for a moment by just being himself.

“My my, hey hey
Rock and roll is here to stay
It’s better to burn out
Than to fade away
My my, hey hey.

Out of the blue and into the black
You pay for this, but they give you that
And once you’re gone, you can’t come back
When you’re out of the blue and into the black.

The king is gone but he’s not forgotten.
Is this the story of Johnny Rotten?
It’s better to burn out ’cause rust never sleeps
The king is gone but he’s not forgotten.

Hey hey, my my
Rock and roll can never die
There’s more to the picture
Than meets the eye.”

-Neil Young “My My, Hey Hey (Out of the Blue)”